I'm finding that I need to redefine patriotism for myself. Perhaps, I seek a connection with a larger cultural web of ancestors and traditions. Or, maybe it's the 10 year reunion of 9-11. As a 10 year old in rural Oklahoma, I staged my own Fourth of July parade with wagons, my little sister, and Disney the Dalmatian. Now, I am wondering where that connection was lost or if it was ever there.
To begin, patriot comes from the Ancient Greek word pater, meaning father. I share the same sentiment as Amanda in Another Roadside Attraction, "No more father figures! No more."
The connection I feel with America's culture is through the autonomy of apron strings and the abundance of warm apple pie. Thus, quitting my blue-collar job is patriotic. Here are 3 reasons why:
1. I am embracing the idea/concept that the place that I am in now is the best place I've got
2. This place that I'm in is America, a land abundant in freedom of choice which always leads to consequences. Consequences lead to creation, the opportunity for autonomy.
3. I am choosing to own that freedom and to create my life, my work, my joy.
Labor Day was originally conceived in 1894 as a national holiday consisting of a parade to exhibit the "strength and espirit de corps of the labor organizations" followed by a festival for the laborers and their families (thanks Wiki for the info). Instead of attending the local parade (was there one?), I bottled beer to celebrate this great holiday of Labor. This is the beer that I brewed in my kitchen at Federal four days before moving out. Tonight, while admiring the wealth of freshly bottled homebrew in my new kitchen, I understood why I was so insanely compelled to start this batch before moving. It began at the end of Federal Street and ended at the beginning of Sellers Place, spanning the changes that occupy that time and space of the summer of 2011. This beer is the bridge over my summer.
And now, America's Godfather of Brew, Samuel Adams, "Driven from every other corner of the earth, freedom of thought and the right of private judgment in matters of conscience, direct their course to this happy country as their last asylum."